Coming to appreciate  prepackaged bisque

I hardly ever make anything from a packet. I make my own broths, grow some of my own herbs and always, always, always make foods from scratch, at least, until recently.

On a past visit to Red Stick Spice Co., the owners of Denicola’s Foods were serving samples of their Crawfish Bisque and Pastalaya as I shopped for spices. I turned down the sample since I wasn’t hungry, but was encouraged by a friend that I should “just have a taste.” I did.

Several sample cups later, I was stuffing the Denicola’s bisque mix into my already full paper bag and taking it home for dinner.

After a long day, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to all of the prep work I had planned for dinner and decided a quick and easy meal was in order.

The prepackaged bisque requires only a few ingredients: water, canned corn, a little bit of cream and your choice of crawfish or shrimp. And, the process? Unbelievably easy. Simply bring each ingredient together in gradual steps, making sure not to boil the mixture and a seafood bisque suddenly appears.

What I can appreciate best about prepackaged foods is the ease with which a recipe can be made and the lack of self-doubt when tasting the final product.

Unlike a homemade soup or stew that’s prone to scorching or too much salt, Denicola’s Bisque has all of your spices in the packaging itself. No need to add salt, pepper or Cajun spices.

Although I’m certain I’ll continue to be a stickler for homemade foods, I’m learning to appreciate when prepackaged goods can make my life just a little bit easier (and tasty). That’s not to say this bisque can’t be personalized with a sprinkle of parsley or a dash of your favorite herb, but when the work is mostly done for you, why not embrace the night off? I hardly ever make anything from a packet, well, except for this Shrimp Bisque.

Helana Brigman is a food writer, photographer and cookbook author. She can be reached with daily recipes at http://clearlydeliciousfoodblog.com or via email at hbrigm1@tigers.lsu.edu.